4.10: The Cold War

Dave

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Another good episode. Maybe not as much action, but some good philosophical arguments about AIs enforcing the Law, and whether it is okay to kill one person to save thousands. There is finally some back-story on Greer. Then there begins a great slow build-up to a mid season climax.

I'm not sure the Cold War analogy shouldn't be a Phoney War analogy instead, as the rivalry between Elias and Dominic is dropped and Samaritan and Northern Lights/The Machine finally stand off against each other. During the Cold War the Superpowers threatened each other but did not act. To begin with here, there is very little action or threats either. Samaritan first beats the Machine at its own numbers game. Then it shows how peaceful and crime-free the city could be if it is in charge. The trains run on time and the criminals are all behind bars.

For the first time, Samaritan and the Machine communicate directly, by means of human avatars (Root and a boy.)
When these 'peace talks' fail (they were a non-starter really) Samaritan caused chaos by hardly doing anything at all; a leaked list from witness protection, more leaked documents. Then we see Samaritan manipulate a stock market crash as Greer watches...
 
Yeah, I liked the episode overall (or at least was very into it as the pictures were flying through the air) but I agree regarding the action - the philosophical arguments were too 'bare'. It'd have been better to have the dialogue flow from action rather than just standing around theorizing. I also wonder about Shaw's character - she's headstrong and so on, but she was also the Good Soldier and that aspect seems to have gone away. Lastly, for what I feel is the first real misstep of the show, I hate the kid. (I mean, conceptually mostly, but also don't care for the casting/performance.) It's just very predictable and comes off goofier on the screen than I'm sure it did on paper. Makes me think of the Gibson Praise stuff when the X-Files was tanking although my memory of all that is vague.

Also, it raises a problem - if Samaritan gets the same numbers and can have agents in the same places, why can't it guess where the Machine's operatives are going to be even if it can't see them? Like the agent in the restaurant talking to the would-be killer lady could have just had her staked out and killed Reese when he engaged her.

And thanks for posting this thread - it reminded me to catch the episode on cbs.com while I could - every year they go to re-runs like just about everybody else and every year they throw at least one episode into the re-run region unlike just about everybody else and every year I miss them. I was even ready for it this year and still forgot.
 
Also, it raises a problem - if Samaritan gets the same numbers and can have agents in the same places, why can't it guess where the Machine's operatives are going to be even if it can't see them? Like the agent in the restaurant talking to the would-be killer lady could have just had her staked out and killed Reese when he engaged her.
I thought they could, but that they wouldn't know what they looked like - they didn't have faces. That is not true anymore - they know what Shaw looks like; they know Root; it is hard to believe that they don't know Reece (there must be CIA records on file); they possibly don't know about Fusco. Certainly, there is a problem there.

However, I'm guessing that many of these problems which appear to be blind spots for Samaritan are going to be explained away by the hardware that Root and the three geeks added to Samaritan at the end of last Season. There has been no reference to that yet this Season, but there was a throwaway line in this episode from Lambert about Root re-rewriting something. We also don't know how much the Machine does in the background to obscure things. It seems very protective of its human "friends" and AIs never sleep so it has a lot of time on its hands.

One thing that doesn't seem right is Fusco's attitude. He is out there in danger everyday because of the Machine, and he is well aware there is a much bigger conspiracy than anything like HR and the Police dept. and yet he doesn't demand to be let in on the secret. I wouldn't stand for it, my curiosity would make me give them an ultimatum - tell me or I don't help you anymore. He is a Policeman; he will be much more curious and suspicious than I am.
 
I think Fusco knows enough not to ask too many questions.. he's always been pragmatic like that! But being able to cover for Reese/Riley's extremely lax attitude to showing up to the office would be stretching the bounds of believability by now!

There was a comment from the kid that Samaritan was sitting face-to-face with Root but couldn't identify her, and that it must be a hardware issue. The anonymity and the secret cell network are the only things keeping team machine in the game, so it'd be tricky for the writers to drop those and keep them from being found immediately after.

Looking forward to seeing how this progresses after the AI meet up, and Shaw's decision to put herself back in the game!
 
Anyone feeling like it's a prequel to terminator?? Better written though :p
I love this series and at last we r watching it and on this episode that is the feeling I am getting. Maybe later on it will change but for now that's what I am thinking ;-)
 
Anyone feeling like it's a prequel to terminator?? Better written though :p
I love this series and at last we r watching it and on this episode that is the feeling I am getting. Maybe later on it will change but for now that's what I am thinking ;-)
I can see Samaritan eventually going all Skynet on Humanity.The AI has been given a lot of power and put in a very judgmental position. Some its agents already seem very cyborgish to me.
 

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